Saturday, May 9, 2009

Things change when you don't notice (except I definitely noticed!)

Midget slept for 2 hours!!!!!!!!

You have to understand my children are appalling sleepers. Actually that's not strictly true, even though Widget hasn't napped since she turned 2 she is now a very good night sleeper. So I know that the pay-off will be there if I survive long enough.

Midget is worse than Widget,

I started writing this post a week or so ago, and didn't finish it because that night was a complete disaster, involving about 3 hours of playing, crying (from both of us), DH helping, etc.

Basically Midget is a really, really, really light sleeper, so the only way you can let go of her is to be lying down on the bed, putting her down wakes her up. And up until now she will only go to sleep by feeding. Rocking, cuddling, patting just results in hysterical screaming and throwing up. By screaming I don't mean crying, I mean the "Someone's trying to murder me!/I've just had a limb removed and am in great pain!" high pitched psycho-type scream. So we've ended up co-sleeping and not really enjoying it.

Then a few days ago after a mini-tantrum about how I really wasn't coping, DH tried taking Midget's first wake up. Bed time is around 8pm, I'm in there for around an hour, then she will wake up anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour after that. I go back in and feed her again, and she's gradually been getting better on these later wake-ups, from an hour down to 40 minutes, down to 10 minutes and the occasional grumble and self-settle. The first time he took her there was a bit of hysteria, but she actually went to sleep with him. The second night there were 2 self settles then she went to sleep within a couple of minutes when he went in. After that she's been self-settling several times before needing help (although as I write this she's still grizzling, so I hope I'm not jinxing it).

Last night we were up until midnight because we kept waiting for her to need us to go in!

At the same time, I've moved her nap back an hour or so, and she's got much better with that as well. There are still the days she only does 10 minutes by herself, but there are also days she'll go straight to sleep and last for an hour. That's an amazing sleep for her, and given her performance I don't really want her to sleep longer because I don't want to mess with bedtime.

In my mind I always expected things to get better around 12 months. (Yep, it was the light from the study causing a problem, all fixed.) You know, if I just make it through the first year it will change. Plus I saw an interview with some sleep researchers and they were saying they wouldn't expect babies to sleep through the whole night until 12 months, so it sort of stuck in my head that sleep changes around then.

And it has. It hasn't been some wonderful technique we've tried, and there's still a long way before I'd call her a great sleeper, but it's so much better than she was. We may even get her out of the bed! It's been tough, but in the end it's just been a matter of waiting and letting her mature and be ready.

1 comment:

Perfect Mum said...

Ha! I think my expectations are even lower than yours Deb...I don't really believe that Boo will sleep through an entire night all by herself until she's at least three!!